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UPDATE: May 8, 2011 here.
Patrick the pit bull was discovered the night of March 16, 2011 by maintenance workers Enson and his boss, Miguel. Their last names are not being made public at this time.
The two men were gathering trash from a garbage chute when Enson saw a plastic bag move—-fearing it was a newborn being thrown away, he opened the bag and discovered the emaciated little pit bull close to death. He notified his supervisor Miguel, who in turn call animal control. They contacted Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park.
Patrick was rushed to the 24-hour Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J. After surviving the night, Patrick was given his name on March 17, 2011—St. Patrick’s day.
Patrick’s story caused world wide outrage, and people were demanding the owner be found and held accountable. A $2000.00 reward was immediately offered for the arrest of the owner.
Mark Ortman became aware of Patrick’s story a day or two later. Ortman, who has worked security at Garden Spires for fifteen years, and has a 14 year old son, suspected Patrick may have been the dog he had been contacted about twice, two months prior to the pup being thrown down the garbage chute.
He checked, double checked and realized the dog belonged to Kisha Curtis. The apartment manager had contacted Mark twice about residents complaining about a dog barking. He, in turn, interacted with Curtis on both occasions, after finding Patrick tied to a rail.
Both times the dog appeared healthy, had food and water, wagged his tail and was friendly. There were no signs of abuse at that time, and Kisha was told to keep the animal in her apartment.
Kisha’s excuse for leaving the dog out was he had nipped her hand while feeding him.
Mr. Ortman notified the proper authorities about his belief that Curtis was the dog’s owner but they apparently didn’t pay attention for almost a week.
Once they did, Mark Ortman phoned Ms. Curtis and lured her out of her apartment—-when she walked off the elevator, she was taken into custody. Mark was there, still on the phone with her.
She was charged with animal cruelty and those charges were later upgraded to torture.
The next thing Mark knew, he found himself being demonized by blogs and other news outlets. They were reporting he came forward for the reward. Not so, folks.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark this afternoon. His focus is, and has been on Patrick, and the two men, Enson and Miguel that rescued him. His gut instinct told him this was the same dog he had seen just a couple of months ago, and hoped he was wrong. He reiterated there were no signs of abuse, and that he also told Ms. Curtis that if the dog was a problem, she could / should surrender him for adoption. He even told her who to contact.
He emphatically stated that had he noticed a hint of abuse, he would have notified animal control instantly.
As stories go, we all know the more salacious, the more outrage. We, as in the universal we, tend to demonize and attack people because it makes us feel better. People seldom take into account how gossip and rumors can affect a person’s reputation and life.
Mark has been called names and accused of waiting for a reward, when the fact is, he wasn’t aware of one. Not only that, weeks later, he has not applied for the reward, and stated were it to magically appear, he would be making donations.
Ironically, his concern was that Kisha Curtis be found and taken into custody before an outraged animal owner physically harmed her. Having read Patrick’s story and the comments left by angry people, he felt it was only a matter of time before she was found and possibly attacked. He stated violence helps so one, and harming Curtis will not change Patrick’s story one bit.
He believes in the judicial system and wants to see Kisha brought to justice, the legal way. He has an excellent point, and understands people need to vent their frustration and anger.
Mark was deeply saddened when he saw himself being referred to as a “money grubbing, greedy, uncaring soul driven only by $2000 dollar reward.”
You and I would be, too. He has been misquoted several times and those that think he was after the money are very, very wrong. If offered, would he take it? Probably, then make a donation to animal welfare. Is he, or was he expecting a reward? A simple “hell no” should suffice.
I’m not sure how the reward story got out of hand, but it did. It appears to me that some don’t understand that while a reward is a good motivator, many people do the right thing for the right reason, not just the money. Mark Ortman stepped up to the plate as soon as he became aware of the situation.
Let’s give credit where it’s due, not only to Mark Ortman, who helped in the apprehension of Kisha Curtis, but also Enson and Miguel, the rescuers of this poor dog.
Of course we’re also grateful to all those that work to save not only our pets, but others as well.
Mark suggests that rather than wasting energy on anger toward Kisha, that people donate their time, money, food or blankets to their local animal shelters. Let the law take care of the woman that abused and starved Patrick.
He is not now, nor has he ever, sought his “fifteen minutes” of the spotlight.
I say let’s quit second guessing the man and his motives, and be grateful he shared his information.
What say you about Mark Ortman, the man that helped in the arrest of the notorious animal abuser, Kisha Curtis? Shouldn’t we not only applaud his efforts, but those of Enson and Miguel, too?
Please leave your thoughts in the comment section beneath the video—-and remember, it takes no effort to be kind, to people or animals.